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Published on Nov 15, 2010
Professor Longhair plays Big Chief, rare recording from the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival.
(I have been searching a long time for a live performance of Fess playing this tune -other than the version with Earl King and Dr. John- and finally found this one which I guess completes the other Montreux footage on youtube. Since it hasn't been uploaded here previously, I just had to register an account and upload it so that others may enjoy this gem.)
I have listened to lots of versions of this song performed by different pianists on youtube and in my opinion (maybe beacuse i grew up listening to his recordings) nobody comes even close to playing this piece as well as Fess does . There is just something unique to his playing style, how he fully masters the rythmic components of each tune he plays and the richness in note variations but still keeping a 100% pure blues feel to it. That's what takes it to a whole different level, it's "raw" but polished at the same time but there is nothing mechanical to it which is my main reproach to many other versions I have heard. You either have it or you don't, that's the essence of the blues. And so I guess it is fair to say that Professor Longhair just had it more than most others.
Feel that energy and intensity! His music is magical, spellbinding and puts you in a trance in the same way good Gospel can.